Sandra Shuman, Ph.D.
Creative Process, Creativity blocks, Imagination
Creative Resources for Living
Somerville, Massachusetts. United States
My method represents a map showing you how to strike it rich creatively. Using this guide will help you overcome challenges and blocks, leading you to an unconscious load vein of inspiration. It rests on a set of core beliefs:
The creative drive is an innate impulse.
People are more creative than they believe.
Opening your creativity can be joyful and easy.
Everyone has a secret cache of unconscious images with the power to unlock their creative potential.
Images are non-verbal, but “speak” to us on many levels. Once channeled, their energy, like an electric current, can light up your life.
Every image, whether arising in dreams or artwork has an artistic and spiritual dimension. It’s an archeological find made up of invisible layers, containing a healing message.
Learning to work with your own special cache of images will help your creativity grow and develop of its own accord.
The best way to the nurture your creative process is to learn how to focus on the process not the outcome.
Being creative is a soul-nourishing activity. Like meditation, it’s a gift available to everyone, less the function of a talent than of a certain kind of practice.
Methods of Working:
I am flexible about the work arrangement, tailoring it to individual needs. I work by phone, email and in-person, preferring, whenever possible, a combination format.
I have over 35 years of experience in the teaching and counseling professions and also much practical experience as a professional writer and artist. The set of skills and variety of tools that I bring to my coaching practice have been crafted over a lifetime. I have been influenced by many thinkers, philosophers and a number of spiritual traditions. I also draw upon the theories I myself have developed and written about regarding imagery and the creative process. My approach is informed by the desire to empower people to connect more directly their own inner resources. My manner is down-to-earth, friendly, and humorous. The work itself is both strategically and spiritually oriented. I work with people from varying age-groups, backgrounds and professions. I also have a deep regard for European culture, speak fluent German and have a network of clients and students abroad.
I offer coaching sessions in one-on-one and group settings, and hands-on creativity workshops. I work interactively, offering feedback and encouragement. I challenge my clients to move forward with understanding and empathy, helping them set and prioritize goals, working intuitively to guide them in making changes they desire. I sensitize them to the creative voice within, helping them follow their own inner “leader.” In the hands-on workshops I also help people connect with their inner creative “voice,” motivating them to express themselves more freely and in a manner uniquely suited to their needs.
The courses and workshops are designed to insure that the creative benefits gained will generalize to other areas of living. The format is flexible, adaptable to a wide variety of needs, beginners and artists alike.
The Creativity and Collage Journal Workshops
Through the use of a special series of guided fantasy and relaxation techniques you get into “flow,” learning how to collage using paint, other materials and found pictures. Blocks to expressing yourself dissolve, your creative risk-taking abilities increase and the images you produce become an ongoing source of inspiration and guidance. You’ll be excited by how quickly you begin producing beautiful artwork. (Please visit my website for schedule.)
Group Creativity Coaching Sessions
Here you have chance to examine and discuss the meaning of images and symbols that appear in your work more closely. Images are a creative means by which different parts of the self attempt to communicate with other parts, representing an important aspect of a larger integrative process unfolding within you.
Writing is the most powerful when it is honest, direct and authentic. Just as you can learn to paint from the “source,” you can learn how to write from the "source". Motivation and Rapport: A Communication Skills Seminar Learning how to build and maintain rapport with others despite differences and disagreements is an “art” and a powerful resource. You will acquire a creative set of tools that will help you communicate more effectively, helping you get into alignment with people, so that you can motivate them, get past their resistance and gain their trust and cooperation.
Opening Up Your Creativity: Connecting to the Source
This 1 ½-2 hour talk functions as a learning experience in itself and also as an introduction to the hands-on creativity workshop series. I explain how the images and symbols we spontaneously produce in dreams or when at play—images from the “Source”-- can help us open our creativity and express ourselves in new ways. I present visual case studies and encourage audience participation.
How to Interpret Creative Imagery and Psychic Symbols
The first part of the all-day seminar includes 2 hands-on creative exercises. It focuses on outlining the best ways to work with and interpret creative imagery so as to foster the further unfolding of your creativity, encourage your intuition and deepen your spiritual awareness.
The Healing Power of Your Creativity
This lecture/discussion presentation describes the optimal creative mind-set to cultivate and how to get into a creative flow at will instead of waiting for it “to happen.” It explains how and why the images we spontaneously produce when we are in that state have such a centering and healing effect on us. It also emphasizes why cultivating a positive relationship to them is so important and has positive far-reaching consequences in our lives.
I offer weekend and/or a 5-day creativity retreat workshops once a year in Europe for my advanced students and trainers. I am currently planning a summer retreat in the USA in 09 in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. It will be open to beginners and artists alike. The purpose is to recharge one’s creative batteries in an environment that is at once healing, restful and stimulating, offering refreshment to the body, imagination and heart.
Training and Experience:
I earned my doctorate in Germanic Languages and Literature at Harvard University in 1970 and taught language, literature and writing at the college level for18 years. Inspired by a series of life-changing personal experiences, I began to develop a methodology for motivating people and unblocking their creativity, helping to channel it into artistic directions. Eventually I gave up my tenured position as an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts in Boston and opened a private counseling practice. I also became a free-lance creativity workshop facilitator here and abroad. My first book, Source Imagery: Releasing the Power of Your Creativity, (Doubleday, N.Y., N.Y., 1989), and my new manuscript, The Magic Book®: Creating a Collage Journal describe the personal and spiritual transformation that creative images can bring about in consciousness. Source Imagery focuses on describing those special or “source images” that are the key to opening your creativity. The Magic Book® focuses on showing you how to apply this method to creating a special artist’s diary. My own work as an artist has grown out of many years of practicing what I teach.
Source Imagery: Releasing the Power of Your Creativity, (Doubleday, N.Y., N.Y., 1989)
„Source Imagery: Über das Auflösen der unbewussten Blockierungen Ihrer Kreativität,“ Therapien im Zusammenspiel der Künste, Walther Zifreund, Attempo, 1996 , pp.45-58.
Sliding scale. Please contact me at the email address shown above.
I am currently seeking clients for individual work in my creativity coaching practice and for people interested in participating in the hands-on workshops. I welcome the opportunity to work with young people. Workshop space in my Somerville art studio is limited so I ask people who would like to attend all or part of a session to notify me in advance. Time, cost and place are posted on my homepage.
I also welcome invitations for giving presentations out-of-state and abroad.